Alex Wurz yesterday addressed the UN World Youth Assembly in Geneva on the subject of road safety as a part of the Global Road Safety Week and made a vocal call to motivate governments, NGOs and individuals all over the world to move from passive...
Alex Wurz yesterday addressed the UN World Youth Assembly in Geneva on the subject of road safety as a part of the Global Road Safety Week and made a vocal call to motivate governments, NGOs and individuals all over the world to move from passive road safety to active engagement with educational programmes for young drivers.
In his presentation to the assembly, Alex stated that the loss of 1,049 lives on roads around the world every day was 'devastating and alarming' and expressed his strongly held view that active education of young drivers was the key to reducing the loss of life in significant numbers.
Joining the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, footballer Ronaldinho, musician Moby and road crash survivors as well as surviving relatives of road traffic accidents, Alex addressed the assembly with a presentation entitled "Learning from a Crash", with experience in part derived from his family's international road safety training business which has helped reduce fatal accidents in his native Austria by 30% in two years, as well as drawing on his Formula One credentials.
"We can't and don't want to change the great feeling of freedom, mobility and liberty that comes from driving a car, but we must make sure that young drivers are aware of the dangers and make sure that they live up to their responsibilities," he said.
The Secretary-General of the UN, General Ban Ki-Moon said, "Road traffic collisions kill nearly 1.2 million people worldwide every year, and injure millions more. They are the leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 24 years, with devastating impact on families and communities. Road safety will not happen by accident. Through the World Youth Assembly for Road Safety - the key global event of the First United Nations Global Road Safety Week -- we are giving a voice to young people. Let us listen to their advice. Let us improve safety on the world's roads, for their sake and for ours."
Alex's involvement forms part of a wider initiative in which the FIA and the UN are jointly involved in order to heighten awareness of road accidents which annually claim more lives than Malaria or Tuberculosis, and according to Wurz has a profound economic as much as emotional effect, with every fatality on the roads in Europe costing domestic tax payers on average €1 million. Both the FIA and UN are helping to promote the many international initiatives that seek to take action on this preventable loss of life.
After making his presentation, Alex said, "It is good to be involved in raising the profile of road safety as it is something I have a direct interest in and responsibility to, as a racing driver. But much more simply, I am a father of two boys before I am a racing driver and I want to ensure that my kids, just like everyone else, make it home safely."